BrainStorm is an interactive, web-based media program for learning and reviewing neuroanatomy that is used in the Level 3 Neuroanatomy course. With several hundred high resolution colour images, it focuses on learning through visualisation on an online interface. Other neuroanatomy resources are primarily textbooks or e-books offering statically labelled images without an interactive component or cross-links between different views. This interactive atlas ensures more complete understanding of anatomical features and relations and uniquely packs all neuroanatomy learning needs into a single resource. Offering a simplified understanding of structure and function within the central nervous system, labelled images are categorised into five modules: Gross Anatomy; Cross-Sectional Anatomy; Radiology; Custom Diagrams; and Education Text. The power of the program comes from its extensive cross-linking between modules which enables students to quickly 'switch' between different views, imaging, diagrams and written information for the same anatomical structure or follow a particular structure through sets of cross sections of MRIs to better understand its course.
As well as being used outside the classroom for revision, it has become an integral part of the practical classes, with learning activities written around it. In addition to looking at specimens in class, students complete activities in the computer lab. To ensure students are not just pointing and clicking, they complete various activities in their notebook whilst interacting with the program. These activities generally involve identifying structures then working through cross-sections and following pathways through the brain to complete diagrams.
BrainStorm allows for self-assessment using the image-specific multiple-choice quiz function, which randomly works its way through structures. A cranial nerve exam is also being integrated which allows students to run tests on a virtual head by generating lesions to learn the effects of damage to certain nerves. Students can then test their knowledge by taking computer generated quizzes which randomly causes damage to a nerve and students must try to work out which nerve it is, getting hints when they get it wrong.
BrainStorm can be accessed HERE using the following login details:
Below are some examples of the content within the database:
1. Gross anatomy sample page
2. Cross-sectional anatomy sample page
3. Diagram sample page
4. Text sample page
5. Example of the interactive quiz